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It is a pretty hard hitting title to this article, but I was recently chatting with an associate who mentioned his work schedule to me. He gets up in the morning, checks his mail and then as he eats breakfast, he is getting clients set up with this and that and by the time he hits commuter traffic the day is moving along. The story went from exhaustion point, to the next exhaustion point. My simple question was, well what about you? The answer was unconvincing to the point of where we chatted for a while and it got me thinking, what is the definition of a busy fool.

Recently, I came across a definition of a busy fool which is worthwhile to share … being extremely busy doing the wrong thing purely for the purpose of being too busy to confront and do what you really need to do. So my question to all ye good folks … can being a busy fool actually be something that draws you in to the point of exhaustion and poor health? As I write this, I am not too sure of the answer, nor have I any evidence to support this but my gut leads me to the answer is YES.

The six signs of a busy fool in the world of professional services and consultancy are some of the following:

  1. Failing to identify and prioritise the important tasks. Based on the age-old philosophy you are making the mistake of always just doing tasks that are urgent to you but not important to your welfare / existence.
  2. Do you have a strategy and are you working to this strategy. Is their a criteria to judge importance / urgency of the things that you do and how you can compare these to the things that you don’t do. Where is this strategy / plan and how visible is it to you right now?
  3. What is the amount of time built into your day for thinking or taking a step back and enjoying what is around you? Are you continually rushing everything and finishing nothing properly and then coming back to the point of where you feel you haven’t achieved anything. Take a step away and begin to enjoy the things around you.
  4. Are you trying to do everything before you ever become conscious to the world? The golden rule to health and well-being is not to rush into you day without a plan. Take that first hour in the morning to set goals and get key tasks for the day. Do you start where you left off from the day before.
  5. The old tried and trusted advice is to manage your time and remove the waste from you day. Such as:
    • you are taking too many needless meetings
    • you are copied into too many irrelevant emails
    • you notice rushing has become the new normal
    • you don’t build in 10 mins before every meeting to prepare and 5 mins to follow up after with any actions
    • have you worked out how to say no to needless things and requests.
  6. You can’t find your flow and hence you are avoiding key things to do by keeping busy on non-important ones. By finding you flow, it is about the environment where you can shut away and reach a state of effortless focus. This can be a wind-swept beach, your office, or anywhere that allows you to disconnect from the madness and be able the rationalize the value of what you need to do.

We, at Turlon & Associates, ask you to reach out to us … even for a chat, to understand where you are and what we can do to help. Believe you me, we have been there but we are so conscious of the well-being of our staff that we encourage people to be less busy, more relaxed and focused on what they need to achieve. There is a huge difference between needing to achieve something and having to achieve something.

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